Where the Sea Takes Us : A Vietnamese-Australian story
In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese families set out on perilous journeys in rickety boats to escape communist rule and seek out a better life. Kim Huynh′s family was one of them. In this unique memoir, Kim traces his parents′ precarious lives, from their poor villages in central and south Vietnam, through relative affluence in Saigon, to their harrowing experiences after the American withdrawal and the fall of Saigon in 1975. As Kim explores his parents′ stories, he unveils the tragedy, oppression and inner strength of ordinary people struggling to survive in a country beset by colonisation and ravaged by war.
This gripping story is not only an invaluable piece of political history, but a moving tribute from a son to his parents.
Winner, Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development.
All royalties from sales of this book are donated to Medecins Sans Frontieres Australia.
Kim Huynh was born in Vietnam in 1977 and arrived in Australia with his family as a refugee in 1979. He grew up in Canberra working in the family bakery, largely detached from his Vietnamese relatives and heritage. In 1999 Kim set out to find out where he came from. He learnt to read Vietnamese, spent many hours interviewing his parents and traveled back to Vietnam on several occasions to speak to family and friends. His findings became the basis for a first-class honours degree and then a doctorate in international relations. Where The Sea Takes Us represents the culmination of Kim’s journey and serves as a symbol of his dedication to his family.
Kim won the Varuna Award for Manuscript Development in 2004. He lectures courses in refugee politics and political deception at the Australian National University.
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